Word for when: two people are attempting to use a doorway at the same time. I'm sure this is an all too common phenomena we have all witnessed. Either you are trying to exit/enter someplace when at that exact moment someone is trying to do the same so you are stuck in a game of who goes first, until someone initiates and someone cedes.

This came up as I working on actually documenting this phenemonon. I happen to be a student studying sociology, ie people interacting with other people, when i realized there is no word for this phenomenon. I thought how could this be! Surely the internet must know! But alas here I am.

I will surely cite anyone who can answer my quandary in my paper!


  • 1
    Isn’t that a “door jam”? :-)
    – Jim
    Feb 29, 2016 at 5:34
  • I've heard "corridor dance" for a similar situation but surprisingly don't recall hearing the nice (because it's alliterative) doorway dance.
    – Chris H
    Feb 29, 2016 at 7:44

2 Answers 2


You might consider doorway stalemate, which is used here to mean a situation where there are people on opposite sides of a door, each waiting for the other to enter first.

You could easily use it to describe the situation where there are two people on the same side.

Urban Dictionary also defines chivalrous stalemate as "When two people are trying to pass through a doorway and both insist that the other goes first." But this entry doesn't have many upvotes.

Urban Dictionary also uses the situation you describe as an example of a Canadian Standoff.


Something like the indisijig, which is when two people fail to pass in an aisle. It was coined by a comedian, but I don't remember which one.

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